Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A bloody reminder

Aftermath of terrorist attack at Mumbai train station

The closely coordinated multiple attacks on eight or more targets in Mumbai, including two hotels and a cafe favored by tourists, a railway station, and a hospital is a bloody reminder that the fight against Islamic terrorists is far from over, in spite of numerous successes since 9/11. So far, some 80 people are dead and hundreds injured.

Reportedly, an unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the most likely suspect is Lashkar- e- Toiba, the Kasmiri separatist group responsible for the July 11, 2006 bomb blasts on Mumbai trains that killed 188. The terrorists are reported to have specifically targeted American and British citizens. It may well turn out that al Qaeda had a hand in it too.

Perhaps not coincidentally, a key LET operative, Mohammed Raheel Sheikh, wanted in the July 2006 attacks, was arrested in Britain just yesterday.

LET has close links to al Qaeda and has operated for years in the tribal areas along the Afganistan-Pakistan border. Many believe that LET has received support and encouragement from the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, which has often backed Kashmiri extremists.

These attacks may seriously damage India-Pakistan relations at a time when a weak Pakistani government is under internal assault by extremists and when the U.S. needs more, not less, Pakistani help in the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Let's pray for the victims of these latest vicious, cowardly attacks -- and hope that President-elect Obama means what he says about carrying on the fight aggressively in that region.

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